Business in Focus: Zillow Group

A closer look at companies executing leadership excellence

If you’ve been in the housing market any time in the last ten years, you’ve probably spent a lot of time on Zillow. In case you have not been one of the website’s 188 million monthly visitors, Zillow is an online real estate database that allows users to search millions of for-sale and rental listings.

What most people outside of the company don’t know about Zillow is that it has an impressive Glassdoor rating of 4.2 (out of 5), has made Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list on four occasions, and CEO Spencer Rascoff has made the highest ranking CEO list three times.

Much of Zillow’s success can be credited to the corporate culture that helps motivate the organization’s more than 3,000 employees.  That culture is centered around six core values:


1. Act with integrity. Zillow’s mission statement is to “build the largest, most-trusted, and vibrant home-related marketplace in the world.” Achieving that mission depends on a long-term strategic focus, rather than short-term decisions to achieve quarterly goals.


2. Move fast, think big. Part of Zillow’s growth strategy has been by acquisition – most recently, the $1.2 trillion purchase of Trulia.  Rather than presuming that Zillow’s culture would dictate the culture of the acquired company, the best nuggets of each were mined to create a bigger, best-in-class model.


3. Own it. Zillow has basic guidelines around time off, but the company’s open-ended and unlimited vacation policy reinforces its culture of treating employees like adults capable of taking responsibility for managing their time on and off the job. 


4. Zillow Group is a team sport. Managers are encouraged to use a leadership playbook as a framework, but to put their personal brand on it to make it more meaningful to themselves and their team.


5. Turn on the lights. Employee surveys are an integral part of taking the engagement pulse across the organization. Results are shared. Opportunities for improvement are addressed.


6. Winning is fun. Zillow’s employees explain this one best.

Zillow Employees

Sustainable, bottom-line success depends on creating a culture that values a balance of autonomy and responsibility.  Kudos to Zillow for getting culture right!




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